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Learner, customer or ambassador? : identity constructions of overseas students in the discourse of entrepreneurialism

Kuo, Yu-Ching (2010) Learner, customer or ambassador? : identity constructions of overseas students in the discourse of entrepreneurialism. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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In this thesis, I examine overseas students' identity construction in the context of entrepreneurial discourse in relation to the way that the UK government, UK higher education institutions, and university staff and overseas students interact with one another. Overseas students' identity is multifaceted. I am interested in how overseas students' learner and customer identities are constructed and reconstructed in the process of negotiating entrepreneurialism and its interrelated and competing discourses, such as such as OSs as learners, OSs as customers, OSs as change agents and OSs as ambassadors. My empirical research is carried out as qualitative research drawing on ethnographic approaches, and conducted in four UK universities. I interviewed more than 50 postgraduate overseas students and 22 university staff at different levels across universities. My analytical scope is influenced both by interactionism and poststructural concepts of discourses and ideas, emphasising the micro/macro links, rather than posing a dichotomy between micro/macro analytical levels. My central argument is that the ways in which university staff negotiate the notions of 'learner' and 'customer' influence overseas students' identity constructions. The hidden debates on overseas students' learner and customer identities were latently entwined with the construction of overseas students as victims, as problems and as beneficiaries of the marketisation of higher education. These hidden debates illuminate challenges which overseas students have to overcome, when they resist and negotiate their learner and customer identities. My research should counterbalance the one-sided and distorted perspective of overseas students, particularly made by the media, which portrays them as sources of income as well as sources of problems for the UK universities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Leaves 294-313 are appendices.
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2011 03:46
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2015 14:19
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